What's the Best Way to Run Downhill?

4 Tips for Downhill Running

Running downhill
Mike Harrington

Uphill running is challenging, but it's actually downhill running that can get runners into trouble. Hit the downhill too fast and hard, and you'll pay for it later in the race. Not running downhill properly can also lead to running injuries, such as shin splints or knee pain. Here are some tips on downhill running to save your legs and avoid wasting energy:

  • Don't overstride. Although it's tempting to take huge leaping steps to reduce the pounding on your legs, you'll hammer your quads and suffer later. It's fine to pick up the pace on the way down, but make sure you don't let yourself get out of control.  Make sure you're maintaining good posture and running form.
  • Keep your feet low to the ground and try to stay light on your feet. Your stride turnover will pick up, so try to keep your steps short and quick.
  • Try to keep your shoulders just slightly in front of you and your hips and feet under you.
  • Don't lean back and try to brake yourself. Let gravity pull you as you glide down the hill.


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